Monday, March 05, 2012

Sharing What We Have

Photo by Katy Brown, Davis

—Caschwa, Sacramento

Pure dare
No dare


Time intensive

On scales
The whales

The rind

The panel
Your flannel

For hiding
For riding

Good clues
Of shoes



He was called a wise man
For reasons unclear
Deciding to reside there
And not with us here

Atop a steep mountain
That few others could climb
Growing more beard than wisdom
To show for his time

But the wishing well he built
On top of that volcano
Changed the red of our fears
Into green jalapeño

The War to End All Wars
Just drop it right in
The magic of wishing
Will erase evils and sin

Still need a cure
For that latest disease?
Try the elixir of tobacco
That heals while you wheeze

If holocaust and genocide
Are getting you down
Drop in a bomb to incinerate
The whole bothersome town

When there are too many people
Who put themselves before you
Wish them down that well
We’ll make melting pot stew

His beard just gets longer
While history repeats
A thousand temptations
Disguised as good eats.




My heart was
Stolen and impounded
For reasons unfounded
Now it sits in a junkyard
Eternally grounded


Relocating children
From lives that had been ruined
From parents who were impugned
Is like moving grand pianos
They must then be retuned


Hard of hearing
When one plays tones in bass clef
A diagnosis of deaf
But all is fine in the kitchen
He’s still a wonderful chef!


Political dogma
Popular referenda
Hidden ballot agenda
Either way the results are
Always sure to offend ‘ya


His sarcophagus
Was the highlight of the funeral
Costing a big Roman numeral
That will end his spending spree
An example of good will to all



Of course the notion is tempting:
Easy money
And poets worldwide
Have answered the call

To start they figured a method:
Write it, print it
Create it yourself
Make currency yours

But what was chosen for paper?
Empty brain space
An easel all blank
Just waiting for art

For ink the secret is rhythm:
Dancing wordplay
Will color the mind
With riches galore

And now the value is added:
Mental poems
One’s image of all
That matters to them

Let’s see how poems are traded:
Joyous readings
We gather our friends
And share what we have


—Photo by Taylor Graham

—Taylor Graham, Placerville

The mountain has taken another—

a man who came with eyes glistening
sun on last night's snow,

leaving his prints on the new white
sheet waiting. Leaving chutes of papers

on his desk, drafts and poems never
finished, an avalanche of words.

Did the mountain want him

for its own? His sunshade eyes blue
as shadow in glacier, where he

lay down under sheets of snow breathing
a steady rhythm; forest-limbs

tangled as the roots of words. What
could the mountain care for his

poems or his prayers? It has its own.


Thanks to today's cooks, including Caschwa (Carl Bernard Schwartz), who has brewed us a collection of Seussian delights to celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday last week (and wonders if, in his poem, "Easy Money", we can find the 4 amphibrachs, 3 iambs, and 2 trochees that are scattered about each stanza; I personally am amazed that anyone could find a rhyme for "volcano"); Taylor Graham, who writes that "Salvatore Buttaci's poems [on Medusa] the other day got me going"; Kevin Jones for the LittleNip; and Katy Brown's wonderful set of photos of some of San Francisco's many delights. For more of these SF photos of hers, go to Medusa's Facebook page, but don't be scared of it—it's just been newly formatted by Facebook.

Sacramentans will be sorry to hear that Suzanne Johnson, longtime Sac. Poetry Center friend and artist who drew the Poets On Deck set of cards featuring local poets a few years ago when Julia Connor was Sac. Poet Laureate, has passed away.

Despite Taylor's snow poem, we need to turn on the a.c.; it's warming up in the NorCal region. And it's also warming up poetry-wise, as you can see if you scroll around on the blue board at the right of this column. This week is hot enough, with lots going on, including the Davis Poetry Anthology reading tonight at SPC; lots to do on Thursday, which always includes Poetry Unplugged at Luna's Cafe, of course; the fun Poets' Party at the Crocker on Friday... but if you scroll down to "More Than a Week Away", you'll see that next week is REALLY hot hot hot with poetry events. And April (Nat'l Poetry Month) will be even busier, you can bet yer bananas! Rest up; there's plenty on your plate. Here are a couple of tasty hors d'oeuvres to get you started (are we done with the food metaphors yet?).

•••Weds. (4/18): Deadline for the Modesto Architectural Poetry Contest 2012. Create a poem inspired by a photo of a building in Modesto. Info:

•••May 4-6: 7th Annual Gold Rush Writers Conference in Mokelumne Hill: 16 workshops plus lectures, panels, 3 meals, all for only $145 if you reg. before 4/1; then the price jumps to $175. Info:


Today's LittleNip:  

—Kevin Jones, Elk Grove

About it.

Fell off
My bike.



Photo by Katy Brown
[For more of Katy's tour of San Francisco, 
go to Medusa's Facebook page]